Gunnery Sergeant Promotion Ceremony

Today Brian was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant! Such a fun day filled with seeing family and friends. We went to a local Veteran’s Memorial park to have the promotion and it was already blazing hot by 9am.

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Brian’s last promotion to Staff Sergeant he was in Afghanistan, so it had been quite a while since I’ve been to a promotion. This time around he let the three big kids pin him! It was such a special moment for them! Cal wasn’t quite big enough to help and being honest he’s a total hooligan of a 2 year old and so there’s no telling what he would have done. But that just means Brian needs to get at least one more promotion so Cal can have his turn next time 😉

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Afterwards, his bosses said such nice things about him! It’s always nice to hear your hard work being appreciated and I know Brian is really grateful to work with such great Marines.

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Next up was pictures of everyone that came!

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The guys who work operations.

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Brian’s Mom and Dad.

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His Aunt and Uncle, who also came to his boot camp graduation!

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His sister!

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Some of Brian’s hockey team!

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Afterwards we went over to one of our favorite places for lunch and enjoyed some delicious Texas BBQ!

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Such a fun day, so proud of his hard work and can’t wait to see where the Marine Corps takes us next. I know that was a bit of a picture overload, so if you made it this far – thanks!

Big news!! & the Waiting Game

This has been a pretty exciting week around here!! Monday was our 13th wedding anniversary, we had VBS this week, Grayson is on an Alaskan cruise with my MIL AND…..

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Brian was selected for Gunnery Sergeant!!!!!

We found out on our anniversary when the “black list” as they call it was sent out to the Sgt Major’s. To say we are excited would be an understatement!!! He had been passed over before, for no real reason – he’s a pretty awesome Marine 🙂 but worked really hard this year by doing extra things to help him look good for promotion. So proud of him and grateful that he was selected!

So now the waiting game starts! We have about 7 months left here on recruiting duty and will hopefully be finding out soon where we’ll be stationed next.

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Marine’s really don’t have too many different bases, all those red states are where the MC bases are located, plus Japan. I have a few places I’d LOVE to go to, but trying to be open to anywhere because Brian’s MOS is so small that we normally only get 2 choices. Sometimes NONE, just a – you’re going here! Fingers crossed for 2+ options and it being somewhere both Brian and all of us will enjoy 🙂

Happy 13th!

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Today’s our 13th wedding anniversary! Hard to believe it’s been 13 years since we said I do! I was 20, he was 21. Our story is much like other military couples, with a rushed wedding! We were already engaged and planning for a wedding the following summer after I graduated from college (go TECH!) But his unit told him he was deploying, so we decided to get married before he left – in two weeks. Ya… dropped that bomb on our families and somehow we got lucky and they were fully on board! Planning a church wedding in two weeks is no easy task but with the help of our parents we pulled it off. And like most things Marine Corps, things changed and he ended up not deploying right that moment like we thought! But I still had to finish up my senior year in college. Thankfully I was able to do one semester in Texas and then do my student teaching out in California. And the rest is history. 13 years married! So many moves, so many deployments, so many KIDS later and I still love this man with all my heart. I couldn’t have been more blessed with a better husband and I thank God everyday that I get to spend my life with him. ❤

Random pictures that I could find on my hard drive headed your way….

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Mini Marine Photoshoot!

This past weekend we were looking through boxes (that we pretty much hadn’t touched since moving from Camp Pendleton 6 years ago haha) and found lots of old photos of Quinn and Grayson as babies. Like actual 4 x 6’s, ya… remember when we all used to have to actually print our photos and not just look at them on our phones lol! Anyways, it was so much fun reminiscing and seeing younger photos of us all. You guys, we were babies having babies over here. We were SO YOUNG! But I came across some photos we had taken of Quinn with Brian’s Marine gear around him and I instantly knew I had to take photos of Cal this week! IMG_9835-Edit

I’m showing how moto I am over here, but good grief that kid is adorable!!

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He saluted for me!! ❤ I could just eat this kid up I tell ya. He’s a keeper 🙂

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Our 8th move

IMG_2951This week we’re moving into our 8th home together since getting married almost 13 years ago. The continuous amount of kids we kept having while leaving in Cali is responsible for 3 of those moves. But this one has me the most bitter because we only have 8 months left here on recruiting duty. Annoying! We rent our current house and the owners want to sell, we begged and pleaded to them to let us stay the remaining time that we’re here but they are just ready to get rid of the house. So after a couple stressful weeks of searching for another rental within the same school zones for our kids we found a house and will be moving this week!

The worst thing about this move is that we don’t rate a TMO move so we have to move ourselves. Whomp whomp. I hate hate hate packing! Just like I’m sure the large majority of people do as well, but man it’s such a pain. Whenever we PCS to a new base the Marines will either pay for a  company to move our stuff (TMO move) or you can do a DITY move and get reimbursed for moving yourself. We ALWAYS pick TMO when we have the chance lol. It’s pretty much the best thing ever. Hopefully everything works out with our next move and we won’t be packing ourselves up again lol.

But as much as it sucks to pack, honestly I love moving! Even just moving .4 miles away I’m pretty pumped to get to decorate a new house and it’s sort of made this last year on recruiting duty move along even faster. I can’t believe it’s already May and we should be moving somewhere new in January! We should be finding out where we PCS to sometime this summer hopefully. Fingers crossed we get to live in our next house more than 2 1/2 years which is our current longest streak!

5 Kid Friendly Hikes in Big Bend

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Hiking with kids can be challenging! Going into our Big Bend trip I knew there were some awesome longer hikes that we’d love to do but they just weren’t a reality for our 11, 9 and 6 year old children. Whenever we plan a trip I like to head to pinterest/the internet and find different areas that we’d like to see and visit but when searching “Big Bend” and “children” I didn’t find much! So here is a quick post of the 5 best hikes that I’d recommend when visiting with children!

Rio Grande Village Nature Trail – .75 mile loop

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This was one of my favorite sunset views! This is an easy hike with a bit of climbing upwards but on an easy path and the views are well worth it!

Hot Springs Historic Trail – 1 mile round trip

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Bring a swimsuit and take this easy flat walk to the hot springs! The kids loved it and enjoyed swimming in the river. We went here twice during our trip and highly recommend it!

Santa Elena Canyon Trail – 1.7 miles round trip

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Come here and expect to get a little wet! The kids loved skipping rocks and playing in the water. We then hiked along the edge of the canyon. It’s a bit of a climb up but nothing too tiring. You don’t have to do the whole thing even, you can hike up and walk along the trail a bit and still get a great view!

Grapevine Hills Trail – 2.2 miles round trip

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This is the trail you take to see the balanced rock! This trail is 3/4 easy and then the last 1/4 is hiking/climbing UP. My 6 year old needed Daddy’s help a good bit while climbing the rocks so I would imagine this one would have been tough had we come years ago when the kids were smaller. The end is well worth it!! But walking this trail with the kids definitely felt MUCH longer than 2.2 miles lol. But it’s one of the shorter long trails, so if you only pick one long hike I recommend this one!

Fossil Discovery Exhibit

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And last but not least go visit the Fossil Discovery Exhibit!! This isn’t a hike, though you can walk around a bit around the building, but this is definitely worth visiting if you have children with you. You’ll learn about what Big Bend used to look like years and years ago and see some pretty cool dinosaur bones!

(And one more thing I think you should do while in Big Bend!)

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If you’re able, definitely plan a river trip! This was the highlight of the trip for all of us and definitely something I’d recommend you do if you can 🙂 There are a few different places that offer river tours, we used Far Flung and highly recommend them!

We loved our trip to Big Bend! Taking the kids to beautiful places and letting them explore is one of my favorite things to do. One of the best parts about my husband being a Marine is that we get to move all over the country and explore places we probably never would have seen otherwise. Can’t wait to take the kids somewhere again!

It’s that time of year! – Thanks VetTix.org

BASEBALL SEASON!!

I absolutely LOVE going to baseball games! I don’t even really like watching games on TV haha but something about going to the stadium and cheering on your team I just love! Thanks to VetTixs my husband scored free tickets to the Rangers game yesterday. If you haven’t heard of VetTixs and you’re an active duty military member or Veteran definitely check them out. We have scored tickets to local hockey, baseball and basketball games! It’s an amazing corporation.

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It was perfect weather and the Rangers won with two runs, the kids were pumped! The 2 year old was a bit wild but that’s what we get for taking him to a game during nap time lol. Thankfully it was $1 ice cream day so we just loaded him up on snacks to keep him busy 😉

For more info on VetTixs click the photo below –
Tickets for Military and Veterans